Original Maison Spirale In Catelnau Le Lez, France

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Maison Spirale is an originally designed residence that can be found in Catelnau Le Lez, France. It was designed by Portal Thomas Teissier Architecture and offers 8,072 square feet of living space. The most impressive feature of this modern home comes in the form of a striking wooden ribbon that wraps itself around the first floor before culminating on the rooftop terrace. Apart from its obvious visual appeal, the ribbon also plays a key role as far as external insulation is concerned, which means that it contributes to passive cooling during the summer and helps retain heat during the winter.

The residence is divided into several levels, and each level includes its own functions and facilities. For example, the basement comprises the garage, while the ground floor incorporates the main living areas such as the living room and dining room. The first floor houses the private accommodation options such as the bedrooms, while the terrace found on the roof flaunts exceptional views of the sea and ensures great opportunities for sunbathing.

From the  Portal Thomas Teissier Architecture:

The ground surface represents 750m², with a triangular shape located on a hill which only had the potential to offer a nice panoramic view from the first floor and the proximity to a rocky natural wall (Lapiaz).

While keeping its natural environment where the house has been built, the construction stacks the following functions:
-A basement hosting a garage;
-A ground floor having a living function;
-A first floor hosting the bed-rooms;
-A roof-top terrace from which one can sun-bath while enjoying a panoramic view reaching out to the sea.

In manner to create a sleek spacial continuity with the construction showing an obvious and easy access to the roof-top, the house visually elevates itself in a spiral-like shape. This wooden ribbon seems to come out of the ground where it will at first outbound the demarcation of the garden by fencing it and make-out the garden’s technical elements. Finally the structure will wrap itself around the first floor and end-up rimming the Terrace on the roof-top.

Technically the wooden ribbon has an external insulation function. By partially wrapping itself- up around the house leaving open concrete gaps, it will give to the structure a thermal inertia which contributes to the comfort of the house in summer conditions. The first floor built irregularly in cantilever brings a variable shadow to the ground-floor entirely made out of glass. In winter as the sun shines lower in the horizon the rooms of the grown floor will glow with a shy warm sunlight. The inner floor made out of stones will accumulate and deliver heat until late at night.

The wooden ribbon will literally be cut-out at the bed room’s level to intentionally create openings in front of the windows. The cut-out parts are kept and equipped with hinges and jacks to create the window’s natural shutters.

A column made of concrete, poured in-situ, will act as a back-bone for the structure. On top of his structural function it will serve as a chimney and will convoy every flow from the basement up to the roof.

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